Kume Takasuke is challenging Nam YuiChul in a rematch for the ROAD FC Lightweight Championship at ROAD FC 13 on October 12, 2013. The two originally made the finals of the Lightweight Tournament to contest for the title at ROAD FC 11 earlier in the year. The four-rounder was a brutal back and forth match that saw Nam come up holding the belt in his hands. Kume had come off a streak of an incredible nine wins by submission, and he’d only been taken to a decision loss once in his entire career so it was a result that echoed loud and clear in his soul. Because of his heart, toughness and talent, Kume was given the opportunity to be the first title challenger to Nam’s belt. It’s a challenge that weighs heavy on both sides, and one that probably both fighters are taking as the fight of their lives.
Prior to the fight, MMA-in-ASIA was able to speak with Kume Takasuke about how he sees his opponent, how he’s been training for him, and what will be his key to victory.
MMA-in-ASIA: First of all, when you joined to ROAD FC, you had many other opportunities open to you. What made you decide on ROAD FC?
Kume: I just wanted to fight. I didn’t really care which organization it was. ROAD FC was the best timing for me.
MMA-in-ASIA: Did you think your tournament opponents were tough, or did you expect you would be able to easily get to the finals? What did you think of the level of opponents?
Kume: I thought there were some strong opponents, like Nam YuiChul and Vuyisile Colossa.
MMA-in-ASIA: Nam had a huge following behind him when you met him in the finals. Did that have any influence on you?
Kume: I didn’t care. A fight is a fight. I just did my best.
MMA-in-ASIA: Were you surprised at how strong he was when you fought him?
Kume: I wasn’t surprised at how physically strong he was, but his mental strength was stronger than I expected.
MMA-in-ASIA: The fight was very close. The fourth overtime round they asked for, you were on top for about a minute when the referee stood you up.
Kume: Yeah, the break.
MMA-in-ASIA: Do you think that was why you lost the final round and thus the fight?
Kume: Yeah, it was one of the keys that moved the control the fight away from me.
MMA-in-ASIA: So you lost control?
Kume: Yes, I wasn’t controlling the fourth round so that’s why I lost.
MMA-in-ASIA: Now that you know Nam will do just about anything to win, you’ve experienced the worst of him. What’s going to be different in this fight than before?
Kume: I don’t care if Nam YuiChul is a bad guy or not, or what his fighting style is like, I’m just focused on controlling the fight. I just want to leave everything in the cage. That’s what I have to do.
MMA-in-ASIA: This is the first opponent you haven’t finished in a long time, and quickly. Have you changed your game plan this time?
Kume: I think Nam YuiChul will be fighting his typical fighting style. So that’s him. I’m focusing on the fight itself, what I can do against him. Wrestling. He’s a wrestler. Nam YuiChul wants to take me down. And I want to take Nam YuiChul down. That’s the key, who can take who down. And I can take Nam YuiChul down.
MMA-in-ASIA: You have a very unique style of speed and strength; you knock a guy down and instead of going for the KO you transition to a choke. How do you train for this power and speed?
Kume: I train a lot with Hatsu Hioki! [Kume laughs and so does Hioki, who is interpreting for this interview] I am always concerned at improving my explosive power when I train. During sparring, I try to explode more.
MMA-in-ASIA: Who are some other fighters you respect?
Kume: I like the wrestling of Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. I like the timing of GSP. I’m inspired by many fighters.
MMA-in-ASIA: ROAD FC is planning to go to Japan next year. What do you think of the growth and direction of ROAD FC, and will a Japan show be successful?
Kume: I don’t really know, but I hope ROAD FC gets big in Japan.
MMA-in-ASIA: Do you like women’s MMA?
Kume: MMA is a very hard sports. [laughs] I don’t know too much about women’s MMA.
MMA-in-ASIA: Do you have any hobbies outside of MMA?